Monday, September 17, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

Holy moly.  I'm a little embarrassed that it's been ten whole days since I've logged a post here on CCK. Yikes!  Things were a little scattered last week and I think I just needed a bit of a breather.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love blogging and always enjoy both the cooking and writing aspect of it, but it takes so much time.  It takes around an hour to get a post looking the way I want it to (minus the time I spend actually trying out a recipe in the kitchen) and some days I simply don't have those extra 60 minutes to spare.  But I'm back on track and can promise a post every day this week.  Swear.

Anyhoo, I figured I would feature one of my new go-to recipes in this comeback post.  These chicken enchiladas were oh so good and have definitely made their way onto my list of must-have recipes.  Not gonna lie, they took a while to make but they were absolutely worth the extra time.  It's not that the recipe is hard, but rather there are a lot of ingredients and several steps to getting them made.

But the good news is that this recipe makes 12 enchiladas, meaning that you can freeze half the batch for a later meal.  You can also make these ahead of time and store them in the fridge so that they're good to go straight in the oven when you come home each evening.

*If you're going to freeze them you have two options: 1) go ahead and assemble the entire meal, including the sauce and cheese, or 2) freeze the enchiladas, sauce and cheese separately.  If you're taking the meal to someone else you can go ahead with option one to cut down on the steps they'll have to go through the get the meal table ready.  Just make sure to freeze them right after adding the sauce/cheese so that the enchiladas don't get soggy.  If you're just freezing it for yourself you can go with option two so that you can crisp up the enchiladas before adding the sauce/cheese.

Chicken Enchiladas adapted from Annie's Eats
Printable Version
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeding and finely chopped
1 tsp canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp sugar
1 15oz can tomato sauce
3/4 C water
1/2 10oz can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained (add whole can if you want more tomato)
salt and pepper
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 C sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
1 C monterey jack cheese, divided
1/2 C fresh cilantro, minced
12 8-inch flour tortillas
cooking spray

Add onion, jalapeno and oil to large pan over medium heat.  Cook 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until onions are soft.  Add garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and stir until just combined.

Mix in tomato sauce, water, and Rotel.  Bring sauce to simmer, lower heat and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Nestle chicken into sauce, cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked through, 12-20 minutes.  Remove chicken to plate and allow to cool.

Strain sauce through large mesh strainer into separate bowl, pressing down on mixture to extract as much liquid as possible.  Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Shred chicken and add to strained solid onion/tomato/jalapeno mixture.  Add in 1/4 C liquid sauce to mixture as well as 1/2 C of each cheese.  Add in all but 1 1/2 Tbsp of cilantro.  Stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease 9x13 pan.  Stack tortillas on plate and microwave 40-60 seconds until warm and pliable.  Spoon 1/3 C chicken mixture down center of each tortilla and roll tortilla around filling.  Place tortillas seam side down in prepared pan.  Lightly spray tortillas with cooking spray and place in oven to crisp, about 7 minutes or until just beginning to brown.

Remove pan from oven and reduce oven heat to 400 degrees.  Pour sauce over top and then cover with cheese.  Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.  Cover with foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes.  Remove foil covering and bake additional 5 minutes to slightly brown cheese.  Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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